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Impact: REZZ

A dive into the mind behind some of the heaviest new sounds off mau5trap

  • Words: Valerie Lee | Photos: Rukes & James Cotta
  • 24 October 2016

Impact profiles raw talent that's about to turn dance music on its head. Next up: REZZ

Niagara Falls might be a city revered for a series of awe-inducing waterfalls, but more recently it's also become known as the hometown of a 21-year old force of a very different kind of nature. REZZ is the Canadian native who first began obsessing over Ableton in 2013 and, in just two years, burst past the four walls of her bedroom and out into the world with a Skrillex-approved debut in 2015.

A combination of REZZ's persistence in perfecting her craft and the world's readiness for a fresh talent as leftfield as herself has launched her into the dance music stratosphere. Already, she's been compared to the likes of Gesaffelstein and welcomed into the mau5trap family by the ever-selective boss himself, all the while blowing minds at festivals and shows all around.

Raw. Grinding. Explosive. Unapologetic. That's REZZ's sound, but underneath her aggressive sonics is a beaming personality and an eager source of creativity – all things that draw fans toward her.

Refusing to be any different than a normal 20-something, she's wildly candid and more often than not, just plain silly on her social channels. She swears by efforts to release music for free, rather than be trapped by labels because, "I want to treat all humans to a delightful first impression," as she explains in her SoundCloud bio. "I'm also obsessed with dogs."

As you can see, she shies away from try-hard press photos, instead choosing to represent herself through a caricature of her signature look: black cap, high ponytail and - when performing - her LED hypno glasses.

In the booth, REZZ leans towards sets made up of her own productions and her Impact mix is no different. Cuts off her most recent 'Something Wrong Here' EP released on Mau5trap make an appearance along with more than a handful of unreleased tunes that you won't find anywhere else.

Exclusive mix and Q+A below.

You’re a producer first, a DJ second. Would you say that’s correct?

Technically speaking, I was DJing before I was producing. I was making playlists for high school dances and playing house parties. I was never passionate about DJing at all, never got paid, I was just confident about my music selection and did it for fun. Then I started producing music, and that’s when I became obsessed with creating my own little world with my music. I became super passionate, and then DJing came with that.

It was only three years ago that you were learning Ableton, right?

Yeah, exactly three years ago.

Compared to a lot of artists, you've reached a major level of success super quickly. Have you ever felt the pressure of such a high level exposure affect you or your work?

Only as of late. There’s a bigger spotlight on me and I definitely feel the pressure, but I don’t feel like it affects me creatively. As a producer, it never depends on the kind of mood I’m in. It never depends on anything, except for this one certain part of my brain. Some people write music when they’re sad, and they write music according to their sadness. Or, they’ll write a happy song, because they’re happy. I don’t write music based on my emotions. I make music based on this certain part of my brain that I’m still exploring.

It's a weird part of my brain that reflects my childhood and other random things, like my brother. He lives in my parents' basement and has these crazy colorful posters in his room - red, green, evil vibes. The vibe of his room inspires me musically, to this day.

Have you ever heard of synaesthesia? [a condition where a sensation in one of the senses triggers a sensation in another of the senses]

Yeah, I think I’m one of those people! I can hear the color green. Especially in my music. You remember that old show Goosebumps? The way that Goosebumps font looks, that inspires me musically.

When people meet me, they see that I’m super happy, optimistic, kind of vibrant person, and then they hear my music and they find it hard to believe it comes out of me. I try and explain it – it has nothing to do with my personality, but a lot to do with this part of my brain.

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